Purpose of this blog is for me to try out recipes from my Weight Watchers cookbooks and hopefully I can find some really yummy, low point recipes to share. But this site is NOT an official Weight Watchers site.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Turkey/Chicken Veggie Cobbler (6pts)

I used too much water & milk and  my biscuits are mixed in.
I found and have modified this recipe in the Pampered Chef "It's Good For You" recipe book.

Its is a good recipe to use leftover turkey or chicken.
Turkey/Chicken Veggie Cobbler
(6 points per serving, 6 servings)
2 c diced cooked turkey/chicken
1 c diced carrots
1/2 c chopped onion
2 c broccoli florets
1 c cut green beans
1/2 c chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
Any other veggies you like in a pot pie or soup
1 can reduced fat and sodium condensed Cream of Chicken (or Mushroom) soup
1/2 c chicken broth (I precook all my veggies, by boiling in water then I use 1/2 of that as my broth)
1/2 c Milk (reduced fat/skim)
1/4 tsp thyme leaves
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
biscuit top:
1 1/4 c reduced-fat all-purpose baking mix (I often substitute pancake mix)
1/2 c milk (reduced fat/skim)
1 egg white 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut up meat and veggies. Precook veggies (salute, boil, steam, microwave) otherwise they end up way to crunchy. Mix soup, milk broth, and spices blending them together. Then place veggies and the soup-milk mixture in a deep baking dish. Mix up biscuit topping and pour it over the veggies (do not cook soup-veggies mixture before placing biscuit on it, if you do the biscuit mixture will sink into the soup-veggies) OR spoon drops over mixture for best results. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, until biscuits are plump and browned. 
Serve warm. I serve it in bowls because the consistence has come out more runny sometimes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake (as low as) 2 pts

Over the past years its has become expected of me to make a cheesecake for the family Thanksgiving dinner. Last year I did a Peanut butter cheesecake. That has become a favorite of our family. But I do chocolates and mint. This year my brother recommended a pumpkin cheesecake. I found a recipe in the Cooking Light Magazine. It was already a healthy cheesecake (as cheesecakes go), but with a few adjustments I made it even more healthy.

  • Use 2 pre-made graham cracker crust or use the following to make your own.

  • 3/4  cup  graham cracker crumbs (about 5 cookie sheets)
  • 1  tablespoon  finely chopped pecans* or almonds
  • 1  teaspoon  granulated sugar *can substitute Splenda (or like product)
  • 1  tablespoon  butter, melted *substitute spray butter
To make your own mix the above items, then press them on the bottom of a 9"spring form pan or pie tin (I like a pie tin because you can have smaller pieces)
the actual cheesecake:

  • 1  cup  (8 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened *substitute fat free cream cheese
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar *can substitute Splenda
  • 1/4  cup  packed light brown sugar *can substitute Splenda light Brown Sugar (follow directions)
  • 1  (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin
  • 2  large eggs *can substitute egg whites 
  • 2  tablespoons  bourbon *optional
  • 2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your crust, if you made it yourself make sure you brown it first. To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese, add the sugar and brown sugar in mixing bowl. Mix till smooth. Then add the pumpkin and eggs. Mix some more, add the remaining ingredients, mix well. Pour smooth mixture cover the graham cracker crust. If using a spring form pan and cooking all the cheesecake together (not doing to pie tins) its recommended to place the spring form pan in a roasting dish with 1 inch of water in it. Bake for 35 mins or until the center is cooked, do the tap test (tap the side-does the middle jiggle if so then its not done) or the toothpick test. Remove from oven and let cool, refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with Whipped Cream.

As the recipe is written without substitute suggestions: cals: 284 fat:14 fiber: 2.7 cut into 6 servings, slightly over 6 points per serving (if you had 2 slices it would be 13 points) This includes homemade whipping cream that is 1.5 per serving with slice.
With my suggestions and using the light can whipping cream 2points for each slice in a pie tin or 3 points for a spring form pan slice.
Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Try the Alfredo in the Orzo stuffed Peppers- 3pts per half

The other day I tried making the Orzo Stuffed Peppers for dinner (see previous post) instead of red sauce I used  the Alfredo sauce. It was tasty. And it only adds 1 point per full pepper or 3 pts total for each half. Another great way to mix things up. I have an Alfredo recipe for making it from scratch that is a low-fat version. I need to see if that could cut points down.
Hope you are all doing well in your low-fat cooking. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spinach and Pasta Stuffed Peppers (5pts or 2.5pts)

I have wanted to try these for a while now. The idea came to me one night when I made made traditional Stuffed Peppers for dinner and had been talking about my lasagna. Its the rice in the Stuffed Peppers that make you feel full, the meat gives it that hearty taste, and the peppers that give the range in flavor. So on that day I was thinking, I wondered, 'how would it work if I used orzo pasta (rice like pasta) instead of rice. It intrigued me and I started thinking what would be different and what would work, and what would it taste like. The more I thought about it the more I was sure this was going to taste wonderful and they did. Here is what I came up with.
Spinach and Pasta Stuffed Peppers 
(5pts whole or 2.5pts halves)
  • 3/4 orzo (make according to box directions)
  • 2 cups steamed spinach
  • 1/2 lb of ground beef
  • 1 tbs Italian seasonings
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 chopped large tomato (Sun dried would also work well)
  • 4 peppers (red, yellow, orange, green-your choices)
  • 2 tbs parm cheese
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
Turn on the oven to 375 F. While the oven heats, heat the water for the orzo pasta, start steaming the spinach. Steam only until starting to wilt. Start cooking the onion, minced garlic, and ground beef. Prepare the peppers by cutting out the center. You can leave them whole (just cut off the top) or cut them in half. A whole one is 5 points each or 2.5 for the halves. I like to cut them in half. When the oven is heated, place the peppers into the oven to start cooking, cook for about 10 minutes. When your pasta is cooked, also the the ground beef, and the spinach. Mix them together, add the pasta sauce and tomato. When your peppers are ready, spoon the pasta-meat mixture into the peppers. Place in oven. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle a little parm on each, and serve. Can be served as a half or as a whole. Can be a great meal as a half with two low point sides.
suggested sides: salad, zucchini, baby carrots. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chicken Alfredo (6 points)

This is a modified from the Campbell's Soup recipe book. My mother-in-law found it and we were so shocked that it was so low points and so filling.
Chicken Alfredo
(4 servings, 6pts each)

  • 1/2 package of linguine (8 oz uncooked)
  • 1 cup Fresh or frozen Broccoli floweretes (I like to make it more filling, I use 2 1/2 cups broccoli
  • 1- 8oz boneless skinless Chicken breast
  • 1 can- Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1/2 cup milk (2% or healthier)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
Prepare pasta according to directions on package. When there is only 4 minutes remaining, add the broccoli to the pasta and water. In a skillet, on med heat, cook up the chicken chopped into small bites. Make sure you spray the pan with a non cal cooking spray. Once chicken is browned, drain, add soup, milk, cheese, pepper. Melt and mix it all together.  Drain pasta and broccoli, then add to the skillet. Mix it all well and serve.

Ideas to cut more fat and points: Use Skim milk, use the light Cream of Mushroom Soup, use more broccoli and less meat. 
Sorry again for no picture. We've made it so many times now that I keep forgetting to take a picture. Maybe someday.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Lasagna (6 points)

I love chicken Enchiladas. I've only made them once since we started doing Weight Watchers. I love tortillas too, but they are so many points. Sure there are some low-carb and high-fiber ones that are one or 2 points, or you can use the smaller ones that are one point each. But when it comes down to it all of those tortillas are more expensive when it comes to your purchasing cost. I hate spending more for items that aren't too much worse and cost SOOO much less. However, if you won't use those items before they go bad, because you don't want to eat the extra points,  it wasn't worth the lower cost of those items. Tortillas are one of those items for me. I can get the unhealthy ones for almost nothing, but hate paying a ton of money for the reduce point ones. But in the end we won't eat the fatty tortillas before they go bad.
Chicken Enchilada Lasagna was my solution, just like with pasta lasagna, it gives you the taste, without needed as much of the tortilla as you would to wrap it all. IE 3 tortillas for 4 servings. This idea actually came from a Pamper Chef party I went to, although their enchilada lasagna was so fatty and would be a ton of points.
Chicken Enchilada Lasagna
(4 servings, 6 points)

  • 1 can canned chicken (I love the Kirtland Sig brand)
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 can Green Chilies (we like a kick, if that isn't your family, then use however much you desire)
  • *optional Green Chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup of Milk (anything but Whole won't really change the points)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 3 tortillas
  • 1 quart square baking dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix the cream of mushroom soup, the canned chicken, Green chilies. Mix them well. Take one of the tortillas, I sliced mine up to have them spread over more space and fix the awkward  circle square thing, but do as you want. Layer over the tortilla 1/3 of the chicken-chili mixture. Layer another tortilla over that. Then another 1/3 of the mixture layered over the 2nd tortilla. Layer on the last tortilla.  Then add the 1/4 c of the cheese to the chicken-chilli mixture along with the 1/2 cup of milk. Layer the last of the mixture over the last tortilla and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Cook for 25 minutes. Serve warm, 4 servings, at 6 points each. Can serve with Sour Cream on it, count the points on the sour cream.
Side suggestions: Rice, bean mix, green beans.

Ways to make it lower if desired: Use a low-fat, whole wheat, or high-fiber tortilla. Check them out, there are a few out there with better calorie counts, and fat counts. Campbell Soup makes a low-fat Cream of Mushroom- it takes 2 points off of the entire can. Low-fat Cheese and skim milk (don't make much of difference on their own but using both makes some difference. So if you used 3, 1 point tortillas, it would be 18 points for the whole meal which is 4.5 per serving. Use the Low-fat Soup and dairy you are easily to 4 points per serving maybe even 3. Check you nurt. values.

Sorry no picture. I wasn't sure if I was going to post it till afterwards. I'll have to make it again and take a picture that time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pineapple Glazed Pork Chops

Yummy Yummy Yummy- sorry my picture didn't turn out very good, but it sure tasted good
Pineapple Glazed Pork Chops

serves 4, 5 points each
4, 4 oz boneless pork chops
1/4 tsp salt and pepper (each)
6 oz can unsweetened pineapple juice (I blended up 1 cup of pineapples in the food processor)
2 tbs dry cooking sherry (optional)

2 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp dried crushed rosemary
1/4 tsp garlic power

What you do: Mix pineapple, sherry, brown sugar, rosemary, and garlic- then set aside. Salt and pepper chops, then place meat in a skillet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, brown meat on high then turn down heat and cook till done. Remove meat from heat, in the little bit of grease left, add the pineapple mixture to skillet. Cook on low heat until mixture thickens. Put meat back into the pan, turn it over around in the glaze, remove from heat, place glazed meat onto serving place drizzle remaining onto the meat and serve.
Suggested sides: potatoes, couscous, carrots, peas.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Butternut Squash-1point

I love Butternut Squash. I think that it taste great just the way it is or fixed up like sweet potatoes. Either way it does need butter.
How you make it:
Take you Squash cut it into chunks. Leave the skins on. You can make it one of three ways, the microwave, the oven, or a steamer.
Microwave- wrap piece in plastic wrap, cook the same as you would a potato (if you don't have a potato button  on your microwave, cook on high for about 2 minutes.)
Oven- place on pan skin down or put it into veggie medley mix. Cook for an hour.
Steamer- cook for about 20 minutes.
Once cooked the skins should peal right off, if they won't peal, then it should cut right off. The reason not to cut it off before is it is too hard don't waste your time.
To serve, mash or eat in chunks. Spray with spray butter. If you have the points add 1 teaspoon  per 1 cup of mashed sweet potato. I doesn't add a full point. but add a point to each 1 cup serving. 
I hope you enjoy Butternut Squash as much as I do.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Orzo -7 points per serving

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Orzo
7 points per serving, 4 servings

  • 6 oz Orzo pasta
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 3/4 c tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs  honey
  • 15 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

Boil water for the orzo, once its boiling cook orzo. Orzo only needs to cook around 9 minutes. Put to the side once its cooked and drained. Meanwhile, cook up the onions and garlic in a sauce pan, add cinnamon,salt, ginger, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, once onions are cooked add the tomato sauce and honey. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes until boiling. Remove from heat. If you can multi-task enough, spray skillet, cook chicken that has been cut into strips over high heat, cook until fulling done, remove from heat. Serve orzo, with chicken strips on top, all covered by the sauce. 
Each serving is 3 oz of cooked chicken, 1/4 th of the Orzo, 1/2 cup sauce.
Suggested Veggie side: Broccoli, California Veggie mix, Veggie Mix

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Salsa Beef- 5 points

Salsa Beef
(5 points per serving, 4 servings)

  • 1 lbs boneless top loin steak*, trimmed visible fat
  • 1 1/2 cup Salsa

Take your beef, cook in skillet on medium heat. Sear each side. Once seared, turn heat to low, pour salsa over the beef. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until meat is fully cooked (don't over cook or scorch the salsa).

Suggestions: Serve with rice or rice and beans. Don't forget a veggie or a side salad.
*This can also be made with chicken, how many ounces of chicken you use is your points since most salsas have almost no points, But check your salsa for calories. If the calories are under 25 calories per serving then don't worry about adding it into the points.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Baked Salmon

This was the first time I had ever made fish. I'm not a big fan of eating fish, but my husband loves it. Since its expensive to buy good fish (and impossible to buy it really fresh) in Arizona, I use that as an excuse not to make it for my husband. But with Lent ongoing, fish is a more reasonable price. I decided to try my hand at it.

Baked Salmon
2 serving, 8 points
4 servings, 4 points
1 lbs Salmon (salmon is about a point per oz)
1 tbs spray butter
1 tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Place a sheet of tin foil onto a baking sheet. Place the salmon scale side down on the tin foil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fish. Drizzle spray butter on the salmon, and drizzle the lemon juice. Let it sit out for 5 minutes before putting it into the oven. Broil fish or bake it on a high heat. Watch carefully, do not over cook. Remove from heat once fish meat because flaky. I didn't understand what this ment until it got to this point, you can take your fork and run it over it and it will break apart in the flaky fish cooked texture. Remove from oven and serve. I actually enjoy eating fish in small amounts and when it hasn't been in the freezer yet. Fish is tastier the closer in time since they left their home in the water. 
Sorry no picture. They are on the computer that is on the fritz.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Party Food

Since starting Weight Watchers whenever we have a gathering at our home or if I'm going to someone's home and am suppose to bring a side or treat to share.

Here are 3 recipes that can be made low-point to share at parties, or for a fun evening at home.

Italian Dressing Pasta Salad
6 servings (1 cup), 5 points each
12 servings (1/2 cup), 3 points each
  • 1 bag/box Spiral pasta (my bag has 6 servings in the bag)
  • 5 tbs Light Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 1/4 c Light Miracle Whip
  • 3 servings of sliced ham (diced)
  • 1 c diced Tomatoes (or more if you like, it doesn't add points)
  • 16 Olives (black or spanish)- if you dice them it will feel like there are more
  • 1 package (~8oz) Fat Free Feta cheese
  • optional*-1/4 c chopped onion, 1/4 c chopped green peppers- neither add points its just up to your taste
Directions: Cook up the pasta, drain, and place in the fridge. While pasta cools in the fridge, chop up the veggies and place them in a large bowl to serve in. Add in the measured dressing, miracle whip (some find it useful to mix dressing and miracle whip till blended then add to the mixing bowl), ham, and Feta. When the pasta is cold (do not add hot it will melt your cheese),  add it to the bowl, mix and toss till everything is covered. Serve. 1/2 is 3 points, 1 cup is 5 points.

Soda Cake
12 servings, 3 points each
  • 1 cake mix (doesn't matter which type)
  • 1 can of diet soda (which one doesn't matter, you might find you like the taste of one over the other when added to the cake
Take the cake mix, add the can of soda, mix well and place in pan, Bake at the temperature directed by the box's direction.  Cut the cake into 12 slices, each slice is 3 points. Ideas for topping-  fat free cool whip, powdered sugar lightly sprinkled, light chocolate syrup, or make frosting and figure out its points.

Strawberry Limeade
each 12 oz glass = 1 point
Personal Serving Size

  • 1 can diet Sprite/7-UP
  • 1 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 1/2 c crushed ice
Take your strawberries, and place them in a blender or food processor. Blend them. Crush your ice. Pour your soda into a glass. Add the strawberries and ice to your glass. Mix and drink.

Party Serving

  • 1 2-liter of diet Sprite/7-UP
  • 1 package of strawberries
  • 8 cups crushed ice
Process the strawberries and ice, add soda. Serve in a pitchers, glasses, or punch bowl. Fresca works well too.

Have fun at your parties.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chicken and Corn Bread Pie-6pts

This is really cheap to make and super feeling for so little points. My husband says its a winner because it tastes great and is really filling, and  points that leave room for a skinny cow for dessert.
Chicken and Corn Bread Pie
6 points, 2 servings

  • 2 tsp spray butter
  • 5 oz diced chicken (start with pre-cooked or un-cooked)
  • 1/2 c diced carrots (I like to put more)
  • 1/2 c diced celery (I like to put more)
  • 1/4 c diced onion (again I do more)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1 cup canned ready-to-serve chicken broth* or 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 c flour (divided- 1tbs, 2tbs)
  • 1/2 c buttermilk**
  • 1 egg whites (if you use the yoke, add a point to each serving)
  • 1/3 c uncooked yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

*Instead of canned broth, I use water. I put it in much earlier and let the seasonings flavor my water, saves both the calories of the broth (not much but still) and is cheaper than buying another ingredient.
**If you use ready made buttermilk from the store the points are drastically different. At 2 points to each serving. If you make it yourself, using milk (any but whole milk) and either lemon juice or vinegar (1 cup to 1 tbs).

Preheat over to 400 degrees. In a pot on the stove top, take your diced chicken. If it hasn't been cooked yet, cook it now. Brown the chicken. Now take your chicken, already in the pot, add the water (if you plan on using broth, don't add the broth, instead add 1/4 cup water), carrots, celery, onion, garlic, spices, and 1 tbs of flour. Let it all simmer, cook until the chicken is finished cooking and the veggies have softened.  Since I use water instead of broth, I let it all simmer a bit longer to flavor the water. If you are using broth, turn off the heat and add the broth. Next prepare the corn bread. Do this by mixing the butter,  buttermilk, and egg whites in small bowl. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients, 2 tbs of flour, baking soda, cornmeal. Mix the wet and dry together, stir until all mixed. Pour chicken stew into two sprayed casserole bowls, then pour cornbread mixture over the top of the chicken stew. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Side note about casserole bowls, I used 2 cup pyrex bowls, this was my second time making it. The first time I used one 2 1/2 qt corning-ware dish, so instead of two separate servings I made one two servings. The only problem is the dish was too wide, keep in mind that your corn bread mix is exactly enough to cover the top of a pot pie size dish, but otherwise its it won't change the taste. 
If you make this the same as I did (broth doesn't matter), this is only 6 points. If you use a whole egg, its 7 points. If you use store bought buttermilk and non spray butter the whole thing is 9 points. If you only substitute back in the butter then 7 points (unless its another light butter).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chicken Fauxdon Bleu -8pts

I love Chicken Cordon Bleu, it is so many points, I knew I needed to find a way to cook this cheaper. I think I have done just that.
Chicken Fauxdon Bleu
(8 points per serving, makes 2 servings)

  • 8 oz chicken breast, cut into two 4oz pieces (cut it as wide as possible)
  • 2 servings of ham (check your serving size and calories on your ham, as long as your serving is below 50 calories per serving you should be okay)
  • Swiss cheese, one serving- cut into two pieces (check your serving size)-if you don't have Swiss you can you any cheese you like, we used Colby/Monterey Jack (because that is what we had)
  • seasoned breading from the "Flaky Chicken-6pts" recipe, be skimpy on the seasonings (maybe leave them out)-2oz RITZ crackers crumbled, 1 tsp Parm, 1/4 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 c plain non-fat yogurt.

directions: Take your 4oz pieces of chicken, butterfly them (slice them long ways through the most middle as possible spot, DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH). In that open cut place the 1/2 serving of cheese, on top of the cheese place the ham. Close the chicken the best as possible, stab with toothpicks to hold the best it can. Roll in the non-fat yogurt, then int he crackers/seasonings mix, place on sprayed baking tray. Bake  for 20 minutes at 375 (or until done). One chicken is one serving.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Poached Pork Chops-6 pts

I love a good pork chop, but I have always have had a problem with cooking it all the way through without overcooking (burning) the outer layer. My mom solved this problem (after many years of eating them a little burnt) by baking them. I do like them baked, but not as much as grilled on the stove top. The problem was solved by a recipe in one of my Weight Watcher cookbooks, although I am seasoning completely different. The answer is poaching. Never thought about poaching a pork chop.
Poached Pork Chops
6 points per serving

  • 5 oz pork chops, bone cut off and any viable fat,- one for each serving
  • pinch of salt for each chop side
  • sprinkle of pepper
  • season all (we have this organic seasonal from Costco- Kirtland brand, it is wonderful on pork chops)-sprinkle it over each side
  • half an onion chopped, leave in large slices
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms (or whatever you'll want to eat)
  • 1/2 cup of water*water should just cover the bottom of your pan, depending on the size of your pan this amount of water may be more, may be less
directions: spray skillet with cooking spray or spray butter, start cooking the onions and mushrooms. Just as the onions are starting to go clear put in the seasoned chops. Scoop up onion/mushroom mixture and put on top of pork chops. Let the first side brown, then flip, replace onion/mushrooms, let brown. Once both sides are browned to liking, pour in the 1/2 cup of water*. Try to have as many of the onions and mushrooms on top of the pork chops. Poach until all the water cooks off, again important not to put in too much water. If the outside of your pork chop is not browned to liking, finish it before removing it from heat. Serve with the onions and mushrooms on the side.
This method can be done without onions and mushrooms, and with a variety of seasonings. The biggest thing is the concept of stove top grilling and poaching it for the perfect juicy and browned pork chop.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Best Lasagna (Spinach-Beef)- 6 points

Last week I made a double meat tiny lasagna for my husband and I to use our weekly points. I made it in a 9x9 (1 quart casserole dish), we cut it into 9 pieces. It was 8pts per piece. That got me thinking, the ingredients without the meat really weren't that bad. I don't want to give up my meat, but to use less meat-hmmm. I don't mind vegetarian lasagna. I've had it made with spinach and its not bad. What would spinach with ground beef taste like? Once I had the idea, I knew I had to try making it. Layer of spinach and a layer of meat.
Spinach-Beef Lasagna-Best Ever
makes 4 LARGE servings in a 9x9 glass (1 quart casserole dish), 6 pts each

  • 1/2 lb of ground beef (90 lean or higher)
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Italian Sausage Seasoning Mix
  • 4 c spinach fresh-steamed till wilted or 1 1/2 frozen-thawed (or how much you are feeling like eating remember it will seem like less once cooked)
  • 1 c Fat-Free Cottage Cheese
  • 6 Lasagna sheets (I love the bake sheets that Barilla makes, the points are based off of 190 Cal, 2 fat, 2 dietary fiber- 2 servings)
  • 2 c Pasta Sauce (Classico Basil and Sun-dried tomatoes, based on 50 Cal, 1 fat- 4 servings)
  • 1/2 c Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
directions: Start by cooking up the onion chopped up into small pieces and garlic in a skillet pan, add in the 1/2 lb ground beef and the Italian Sausage Seasoning Mix. Once browned, remove from heat. Next layer up. 2 sheets fit on the bottom, layer of cooked meat mixture, drop 1/2 c of cottage cheese over the meat and 3/4 c pasta sauce, mix the cottage cheese and pasta sauce. Second layer, 2 lasagna pasta sheets, 4 c spinach, 1/2 c cottage cheese and 3/4 pasta sauce (mix cottage cheese and sauce). Third layer, 2 lasagna pasta sheets, 1/2 c pasta sauce spread over past sheets, sprinkle over the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Place in oven, cook at 375 for 40 minutes (or until all cooked and golden brown). Cut into 4 equal portions. Makes a HUGE serving that is SO filling for so few points-one serving is about half your plate. 
Served it to my in-laws for dinner-- they LOVED it, My husband loved it "WOW", can't vouch for children my little one is just starting to eat solids. Served it with zucchini, other suggestions- California Veggies, steamed carrots, peas, broccoli.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Italian Sausage Seasoning Mix

In our quest to eat healthier and to save money we have been learning to make our own seasoning mixes. Those packages and pre-mixtures you purchase at the store are so convenient BUT many contain a preservative (often molasses) and that adds calories. I learned that I could make my own Taco Seasoning. My husband loves Italian Sausage, but buying it is expensive compared purchasing the ground beef and I think the way sausage is packaged is gross to handle. One day, after I had made our Taco Seasoning my husband had a light bulb moment- we could make our own seasoning and put it on our ground beef. Therefore it would taste like Italian Sausage.
Italian Sausage Seasoning Mix
use 2 tsp or 2/3 Tbs per 1/2-1 lb of meat (to your taste)

  • 2 tbs Fennel
  • 2 tbs dried minced garlic
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 1 tbs Paprika
  • 1 tbs Oregano
  • 1 tbs Basil

If you are someone (like myself) who likes the taste of Fennel but do not like the large crunchy thing in your food-suggestion: put the Fennel into a grinder (food processor, coffee grinder). Even if you don't mind the texture of non-ground fennel, try grinding it, it helps the flavors come through with less in each serving.

Flaky Chicken served with Veggie Melody-6pts

This recipe came from my book with recipes made for two. When my husband tried it he was amazed and said you'd never know it was a low-cal/fat meal because it doesn't taste like it. The name is actually Flaky Herb Chicken.

Flaky Chicken-8pts per serving
  • 2 oz round butter crackers (RITZ)
  • 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 2 thin 4 oz pieces of chicken
  • 1/4 c plain low-fat yogurt (~1/2 those 6 oz containers)
  • 2 tsp veg oil
directions: heat oven 425 degree, combine crackers, cheese and herbs. Dip chicken into yogurt, then into the crumble mixture. Place on non-stick baking sheet and place into oven. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon oil on each piece before putting it in oven, cook 7-8 minutes, then drizzle another 1/2 tsp oil, cook for another 7-8 minutes (until done and lightly brown).
Flaky Chicken-6pts per serving
  • 2 oz RITZ crackers
  • 1tsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 8 oz chicken, cut into thin strips (min of two, I like to cut more strips-each serving is half of the chicken)
  • 1/4 c plain non-fat yogurt
  • spray butter or Pam
directions: same as above, instead of using the Veg oil, give it a spritz of the spray butter or the Pam. Between the changes of the non-fat yogurt and taking away the oil we are saving 2 whole points for the same serving of food. Other ways to trim, RITZ came out with a low fat cracker, and a whole grain cracker. I haven't tried them yet, or looked at the nutritional facts to see which is better, but it might be possible to shave another point.

Veggie Melody- 1 pts per serving
(makes min of 2 servings)
all veggies raw to start, can do more of any desired
  • 3 oz potatoes (can add more, but add 1 pt for whole, div by number of servings)
  • 1/2 of a yellow squash
  • 1/2 of a zucchini
  • 2 carrots,
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1/2 small onion (or 1/4 large)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • water
directions: chop all veggies into cubes. Place in a baking dish (glass or corningware are what I suggest). Pour over them the olive oil and add the herbs. Toss all the veggies until they are all covered. Add water, just a tad until it just barely covers the bottom of the dish (no more than 1/4 inch deep). Cover and put in oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Feel free to change any amounts of any of the veggies. I just find these amounts make it great for 2 servings. Also add any other veggies you think will be good (peppers, tomatoes).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Beef Kebabs-6pts

When I saw this recipe I remembered the kebab racks that we got for our wedding, the ones we used once and have been sitting in our cupboards since. What a wonderful idea, make use of things we own. The recipe only had meat, onions, red peppers, and mushroom caps. But I like my skewers with lots of veggies. The recipe also suggested marinading the meat overnight, I decided to make it with less time than that and instead I only marinaded it for 30 minutes.
Beef Kebabs
(4 servings)
  • 1 onion cubed
  • grated zest of lemon
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped mint
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb boneless beef tenderloin, cut into ~1inch cubes. (I used chuck roast, to cut cubes, other beefs can be used, just make sure the points are right).
  • 1 bay leaf
  • veggies cut into 1 inch sizes (mushroom caps, green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, just about anything that sounds good to you. My mom likes to put pineapples on her skewers-put that changes the points just a big).
directions: blend in a food processor the onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, cloves, cumin, thyme, mint, paprika, cayenne pepper. Place sauce and meat into a plastic bag. Place in the fridge overnight (or 30 minutes but it won't be as juicy). Remove meat from fridge, take meat from bag, pour all extra juices into a small sauce pan, add bay leaf to sauce and bring sauce to boil, let boil for 3 minutes. Take meat and veggies, place on skewers. Broil. I cut everything smaller pieces, and stuffed it on the skewers. It made a lot more skewers. In fact I used only 8 oz of meat, and got 6 skewers out of it. Cook throughly. Baste skewers with left over marinade while cooking, any marinade leftover at that point serve on the side. Each skewer (when making 4 skewers with the full lb of meat) is one serving.
Ideas as sides- couscous, wild rice, hummus.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicken Orzo with Roasted Peppers-6pts

I was skeptical that I'd like this, I mean it sounded okay but I didn't know about it. I gave my husband 3 options and asked which sounded yummier for dinner. This is what he chose. Once he made he thought this was DELICIOUS. I thought it was good, I'd eat it again, but I wouldn't call it wonderful. Not because it isn't a good recipe, only that its not the sort of thing I normally choose. But it was good.
Chicken Orzo with Roasted Peppers
(serves 4)
  • 1 med green bell pepper (cut in half and seeded)
  • 1 med red bell pepper (cut in half and seeded)
  • 6 oz orzo pasta
  • 8 oz skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbs minced parsley (recipe recommends fresh parsley, we just used dried)
  • 1 tbs minced mint leaves (again recommends fresh, we used dried)
  • 1 tbs lemon juice (recommends fresh, we used jarred from the fridge)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1.5 oz feta cheese (we skipped this, if you leave it out it takes a point off per serving=5pts per serving w/out feta, or check out your feta, lower fat ones will change this-calculated on 75 cal per oz)
Directions: Heat oven at 400 degrees F. Place cut-side down on a "jelly-roll" pan roast for 25-30- or until the skin is blistered and charred. When its done place into a paper bag, let sit for 5 minutes (until cooled), and then peel. (I only peeled half of mine, I gave up after they didn't want to peel, couldn't taste the difference). While the peppers are being made ready, cook the Orzo, and poach the chicken. (I had never poached chicken before. The recipe contained directions, apparently all you do to poach a chicken is place the chicken in skillet with shallow boiling water-3cups-cover it and cook for a few minutes-10minutes or so.) To make the sauce- in a jar or a bowl, add parsley, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, ground black pepper. Shake jar or whisk it all well. When the chicken is done cooking, let it cool a bit and then cut into "bite-size" pieces. Mix chicken, roasted peppers, sauce, orzo in a serving dish. Toss, make sure everything is evenly coated. Then mix in the optional crumbled feta. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Glazed Chicken Strips-6 points

The recipe calls for only 5 oz of chicken cut into cubes. I chose instead to use one 8 oz chicken breast cut into 4 strips. The points already are adjusted, if you only use the 5 oz it is 4 points per serving instead of 6 points. This recipe comes from a book where every recipe is made for only two servings and to be 30 minute or less meals. Other than the change I made and already mentioned it is the same recipe as in the book.
Glazed Chicken (for two)
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or 1 1/2 tsp jar minced garlic)
  • 1 80z chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • 1 cup cooked rice
In a small bowl, mix well the honey, ketchup, soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, and garlic. Place chicken and mixture in a plastic bag, put in fridge to marinate for about 30 minutes (I don't think longer would hurt if you wanted to make it up prior and let sit in fridge overnight).
Fast way- place in microwaveable dish and microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir, cook longer if needed. Let stand for a minute. Serve chicken over 1/2 cup of rice.
Long way- Place marinated chicken in glass baking dish. Bake chicken at 350 for 20 minutes, or until fully cooked. Serve over 1/2 c of rice.
Suggestions- serve along side veggie. We did steamed zucchini with 1 tsp of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Also to spice up the rice you could 1- use the remainder of mixture over the rice or 2- add 2 tbs of Crazens to the rice.
Glazed Chicken (for 4)
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs ketchup
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 garlic clove, minced (or 1 Tbs jar minced garlic)
  • 2 80z chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • 2 cups cooked rice
follow the directions from above

Rice is included in the points, but the Parmesan on the zucchini is not.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chicken Stir Fry- 6 pts

This is the Stir Fry I've always used. I was really wanting it last night. So I made it up and figured out the points. I like to use a pre-made stir fry veggie mix. To make it less points I only used 1- 8 oz chicken breast. I used about half the amount of rice I normally use, and filled it with veggies. I used a bit too much soy sauce and it looked really yucky- tasted fin, but I didn't want to put a picture up.
Stir Fry
  • 1-8oz chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • various veggies- carrots, green beans, zucchini, peas, yellow squash, celery, peppers, onion, broccoli, anything that sounds good to you.
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
Cook up the chicken, when almost cooked turn heat to low, add 2 tbs of soy sauce, let simmer. When the chicken is done, add in the veggies, and the last 2 tbs of soy sauce. Mix well, then add rice, mix well and serve. Makes 2 servings (to make more servings just double the recipe). If you aren't up for rice, this could also be made with 1 package of Ramen noodles, if you use Ramen instead of rice the total is 7 points (its actually more like a point and half).

Friday, January 15, 2010


I love Mexican food. I've lived in Arizona almost my entire life. When I haven't been in Arizona I have felt the loss in my life of good Mexican food. This is not an Weight Watchers recipe. Instead only inspired by one. It was inspired by the Zesty Beef Fajitas recipe found in my book 'Weight Watchers New 365 day Menu Cookbook'. I saw it and got thinking. This recipe also complements the stuffed peppers, in that you can use the same stuff. For example: Black beans- open one can and you still won't use it all up and Rice- make a couple cups at one time and only use a cup at a time, used the other half of lb from the peppers, the other half of onion, and sweet bell peppers (we buy them in bulk or you can buy them pre-cut with onions in the frozen veggie section).
Arizona Girl's Fajitas
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 c cooked long grain rice
  • 1/2 c black beans
  • onion cut into medium pieces
  • sweet bell peppers cut into medium pieces (I used 3 large halves-red, green, yellow)
  • 1 c water
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1/2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tbs cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
Directions: cook on the stove top the onion and bell peppers (how you oil the pan is up to you, I use spray butter, olive oil (add the points), or Pam). When the veggies are almost done add in the 1/2 lb of ground beef. Make sure it is broken up as best as possible. Add salt and pepper. Let it will simmer until all the meat is browned. Once all is browned add the water, cumin, chili powder cayenne pepper, and paprika. It helps to mix all the seasons into the water first then add the water. You can use the Taco seasoning mixes but you'll have to check out what points it will add, many contain molasses and other preservatives. After you get all the seasonings spread around and simmering add the beans and rice to the pan. Let simmer for a minute or two (until all the water is absorbed).
Serving: Makes 6 servings (2/3 c each) at 4 points a serving, add in your own tortillas (our large cook yourself tortillas are 3 points each). Can be served as is or with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa (check for points), and cheese (add points).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stuffed Peppers-5pts

These were yummy. I'd make them again. I think next time I will try using Worcestershire sauce instead of the tomato sauce and then add actually chopped tomatoes. Sorry I forgot to take a picture. I will have to get into a habit of doing this.

Stuffed Peppers
(4 servings, double everything for 8 servings)
*denote not being in the original recipe
  • 1/2 lbs of lean beef (90 or above, if you use lower make the adjustment) you do not need to brown it before adding it to the mixture, although if you are using a fattier beef I would recommend browning it and draining off the fat.
  • 1 c cooked long grain brown rice (you can used white rice, I used long grain brown and was able to add the beans for the same number of points)
  • *1/4 c black beans (cooks/canned and rinsed--if you use white rice add a point for the beans)
  • 1/4 c green peas (thawed if frozen)
  • onion-finally chopped (I used 1/2 of a large onion, if it is small use the whole thing)
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbs tomato paste (next time I want to try Worcestershire sauce doesn't change the points)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • *1 tsp cumin (we love cumin and next time I might add even more)
  • 4 large sweet peppers (red, green, orange, yellow-its your choice), cut off the tops and clean out seeds
  • 1/2 c tomato puree or tomato sauce
Mix the beef, rice, onion, peas, beans, rice, cheese, seasons and 2 tbs or tomato paste (or Worcestershire sauce)- mix together, fill peppers with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees, covered with foil and just enough water to cover the floor of the baking pan, cook for 30 minutes and then remove the cover and continue to cook for 20min more. Cool a bit before serving.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Welcome to Weight Watchers Cooking

I know that there are lots of websites and blogs out there that point recipes and many of them post the Weight Watchers points associated with that recipe. I'm not replacing them. I enjoy using their site. This site is mostly for me. My husband and I recently started counting points. We aren't officially doing Weight Watchers. But we are using their points calculations and counting our points. To try to learn to cook using points I went online and purchased some Weight Watchers cookbooks. Half already tell me the points and the other half are so old they contain the exchanges. Good thing they also contain the calories, fat, and fiber so I can calculate the points myself. My goal is to find enough recipes that we enjoy that are low point healthy for us that I can incorporate them into our daily lives and raise our children eating healthy from day one.
So more or less the purpose of this blog is to look at these recipes, many of them a bit old, cook them, try them, review them, and pass it on. I hope to find more good recipes than duds.
Welcome to our journey of healthy eating and hopefully good food.